Clark Peterson of Necromancer Games has announced that they are working on a 4E Classic rules set: "a set of alternate content for 4E to replicate the old school way of playing D&D. It will work in conjunction with the 4E PHB." Personally, I have my doubts that they can pull this off, but I expect the process will be interesting as they are creating it in an open manner somewhat like Paizo did with Pathfinder.
Here's more from Clark's post in the new 4E "Classic" board at the Necromancer Games message board:
Here is my plan: I am going to create "Classic 4E": a set of alternate content for 4E to replicate the old school way of playing D&D. It will work in conjunction with the 4E PHB.While I'm not a 4E fan, I'm going to follow this discussion for a while as I always find it interesting to see what people see as the "old school" way of D&D.
It will contain the classic races--elf, dwarf, half-elf, halfling, human, gnome, etc. No dragonborn, no warforged. Now, that said, if you and your DM want to use that content from the PHB you can.
It will contain the classic classes--fighter, ranger, paladin, rogue, cleric, druid, wizard, monk, as well as some 3E favorites such as the barbarian and bard.
It will have some rules changes:
--things will not be tied to the grid, they will be done in feet.
--there will be no more hopping around the grid teleporting, but movement in combat will still be stressed
--the old powers that have to do with things other than combat will make their return
--spell memorization will return in a fun new way
--powers will be more limited for the classes, but more useful. Not every class is a wizard
--alignment returns (optionally)
--buffing is not forbidden anymore. 4E took away buffing spells. I dont mind putting them back.
I want to do this the way Paizo is doing Pathfinder. I want to develop it as a community. I will soon be opening a "4E Classic" forum with a thread for each class and race etc. We can post incremental updates of our rules compiled as a pdf as alpha and beta. The final version will be available as a pdf and perhaps in print as well since people love their printed game books.